Board to Meet Next Week - Monday Memo 10/30/17

October 30, 2017

Final ABI Board Meeting of 2017 Next Week

The final board meeting of the calendar year will be held a week from Wednesday.  The November meeting is an important one for ABI and it is typically one of the best-attended meetings of the year.  

The ABI Board of Directors, chaired by David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner), will convene at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 8.  The board will meet at ABI headquarters in Des Moines' East Village.  You can register for the board meeting by simply replying to this memo. 

As noted above, the November board meeting is an important one.  Members will work through a very full agenda of reports and action items.  Look for the usual packet of reports and materials to help you prepare for the meeting to arrive in your email in-basket later this week.  

Also on tap is an address by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. The Attorney General will share information about business initiatives undertaken by his office. 

You might recall that at the meeting held a year ago in November, a board member mentioned that it was nice that the board meetings were enjoying strong participation.  He indicated that wasn't always the case.  

As I replied to the comment above, strong board participation is much more than nice.  In fact, your participation in board meetings is all-important.  Our association needs your leadership and it is board leadership that has made the difference in ABI's growth and return to prominence.  Thank you in advance for your attendance and participation in next week's meeting. 

Leadership Iowa to Hold Second 2017-2018 Session in Jefferson

The ABI Foundation's 2017-2018 Leadership Iowa class is comprised of a terrific group of Iowans.  The class will meet for its second session beginning Wednesday of this week in Jefferson.  This session will focus on economic development and manufacturing.  

Register now for Connecting Statewide Leaders Event in Jefferson; Durham to Speak

As you know, the first 2017-2018 Connecting Statewide Leaders event will be held November 2 Thursday) in Jefferson.  This forum is the next opportunity to participate in the popular series of events ABI has hosted around Iowa over the course of the past few years.  A luncheon follows the meeting and you will have a great opportunity to visit with fellow ABI members, meet the new Leadership Iowa class, and develop new customers.  

The program will feature a perennial ABI favorite, Debi Durham, the Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The Director will share the latest news regarding Iowa economic development projects and related issues. 

I look forward to seeing you at the event in Jefferson.  You can register for the event and find more information at  Well over a hundred people have already registered.  

ABI and AARP Sponsor Caregivers Webinar

In conjunction with the American Association of Retired Persons, ABI is sponsoring a webinar to support and assist caregivers in the workplace. There are many components to this issue, but for many ABI members, it has a real impact on your workforce. 

This hour-long webinar will be presented on November 14. Your HR staff and others can register for this free webinar here:  The webinar will be taped for viewing at a later date as well. 

CIRAS Presents Leadership Summit November 16

One of ABI’s key partners is the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University.  CIRAS provides a great many resources for Iowa businesses. 

ABI is a co-sponsor of an upcoming leadership summit being produced by CIRAS. The summit will be presented from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on November 16.  It will be held at the conference center at Prairie Meadows in Altoona.  To register or learn more, please go to:  CIRAS events always provide value.  

Conference Work – for 2018 AND 2019 – Continues

We hear time and again that ABI members find great value in the annual ABI Taking Care of Business Conference. I can tell you that ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and Conference Committee Chair Donna Popp-Bruesewitz (Stellar Industries, Garner) are pulling out all the stops to ensure that the 2018 conference is the very best ever.  You will not want to miss it! 

But planning for these meetings is never a short-term affair that is why ABI Vice Chair David Bywater (Economy Advertising Company, Iowa City) and association staffers are well into planning for the 2019 conference as well.  In fact, more site visits and other work on that event will take place this week.  Thank you in advance for always making the annual conference Iowa’s best business event of the year! 

Brad Hartkopf Attends U.S. Chamber Seminar

ABI Coordinator Public Policy Brad Hartkopf is known for his enthusiasm and passion for representing ABI members at the Statehouse. In addition to that passion, as is the case with all ABI staff members, Brad also has the skills and talents to do his job well. 

As we prepare for the 2018 session of the Iowa General Assembly and to gain the latest information, Brad last week represented ABI at the Midwest Regional Government Affairs Seminar hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The seminar, which was held in Chicago, provided attendees with the latest information on public affairs and government relations.  Welcome home, Brad. 

Roger Hargens Pens Register STEM Workforce Op-Ed

Longtime ABI Board Member Roger Hargens (Accumold, Ankeny) is also a longtime leader in Iowa’s efforts to advance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education. In that role, Roger wrote a terrific essay that was published in yesterday’s Des Moines Register

In his essay, Roger notes that the shortage of STEM workers in Iowa is real and discusses ways to address the problem. Congratulations to Roger on a great essay and thank you for bringing attention to this ongoing challenge! 

Mores Institute Graduates Nine Newspaper Industry Leaders

Longtime ABI Board Member Alan Mores (Harlan newspapers, Harlan) and his brother Steve Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan) are also longtime leaders in Iowa’s newspaper industry.  Some years ago, Alan and Steve endowed and created the Leo Mores Newspaper Leadership Institute at the Iowa Newspaper Foundation.  Named for their father, Leo, the Institute brings together individuals involved in the newspaper industry and helps prepare them for a successful newspaper career.  

Nine individuals from all across Iowa graduated last month in the most recent class. Congratulations to them and thank you to Alan and his family! 

Pray, White, Lande Celebrate Birthdays

As always seems to happen about this time each year, several ABI leaders are marking birthdays. Former ABI Chair Dick White (John Deere, Ankeny) and ABI Board Member Jack Pray (Reynolds & Reynolds, Des Moines) are celebrating this week.  Former ABI Chair Roger Lande (Stanley, Lande & Hunter, Muscatine) will celebrate his birthday later in November.  ABI sends happy birthday wishes to Jack, Dick, and Roger! 

The Business of ABI: Moving Forward

You know that from time to time in these memos I like to provide information about ABI's internal operations, what I call the business of ABI.  As you know, I believe ABI needs to operate as a business and provide value to its customers (ABI has customers, we just happen to call them members). 

Over the course of the past month or so, I have driven literally thousands of miles across Iowa, from river to river and allover. That's great, because visiting ABI members is the best part of any ABI staff member's job.  

One thing that is clear from those visits is that one part of what you all do in leading your companies is always move forward.  You are always innovating, always meeting new demands, always providing value.  ABI sure needs to do that as well.  

Over the years, you have allowed us to try new things.  Some have worked very well and grown (Elevate Advanced Manufacturing and BizWize and Leadership Iowa University and the Iowans for Jobs Initiative and many others).  Some have grown and we have spun them off to flourish on their own (VentureNet Iowa and others).  Some have not worked as well, or others are doing them better, so we stopped doing them (ABI Jobs Fair).  The point is that by following your example and with your leadership, ABI continues to enjoy growth and increase.  THANK YOU.